Book review: “The Lovely Bones”

“The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold is one of the greatest books I’ve read in a while that deals with loss in the most realistic way.

Susie Salmon is our narrator and she starts her story with her death. Susie describes to the readers about being lured by her murderer into an underground hiding place that he dug in the middle of a field where he rapes and murders her. The young teenager was 14 when she died and she watches her family grieve over her disappearance as they never actually found out what happened with her.

The great thing about Sebold’s book is the way she created the setting. She creates a heaven for Susie Salmon to live in as the young girl watches her family grieve and try to find her murderer and move on from her death.

Susie knows who her murderer is and can’t move on while her family is unknowing of what happened with her.

I never usually enjoy reading books with the narrator speaking in the first person; that’s not my cup of tea. I like reading books with different kinds of perspectives because they’re not limited to just one.

I would have to make an exception for “The Lovely Bones” because I never have read anything in the first person like this.

This book is about a dead girl who is also the narrator of her own story and tells her story from her heaven. It’s beautiful and sad to see that she watches her family slowly move on and grow up while she’s stuck being 14 years old for the rest of eternity.

If you are easily triggered by any scenes involving sexual abuse or domestic violence, I’d advise you skip the first couple of pages because Sebolf doesn’t hold back with the description of Susie’s molester.

I really enjoy this book because it’s not a light “she was attacked and killed” kind of book, no, it’s “she was uncomfortable and he kept looking at her with a hunger that makes the hairs on the back of her neck tingle” kind of book.

I love this book because I don’t see enough books about the real world and how things are actually portrayed. In books, authors have total control of the world that they create, and in most books that I’ve read, there’s a limit to what they write.

Sebold does hold back on the details but not enough for the readers to be shocked with what just happened at the very beginning of the book. It’s beautifully written and I don’t think there would be any other way that this kind of book could be written.

I don’t recommend this book to readers who don’t appreciate vulgarity or are easily triggered by violence.

The book had so many different images in Susie’s heaven, they were so vivid and beautiful, while I was reading I felt safe and I think that was Sebold’s purpose.

The differences between the heaven described and Earth were great comparisons. Heaven was light and there were no problems except for Susie not being able to move on, and the problems on the Earth below her were darker and it was sad seeing Susie’s family struggle with her death.

I think this is a book everyone should read especially to get a sense of reality in the world.

About Madi Overstreet (12 Articles)
Madi Overstreet is a second-year student majoring in English at Laramie County Community College. Overstreet was senior and managing editor of her high school yearbook and was also a lead for the broadcasting class at Cheyenne East High School and is hoping to bring her leadership knowledge to help the Wingspan staff this semester. To contact Overstreet, email her at madeleineoverstreet@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter @MadiOverstreet

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